ITALY: Chaos in the Mails

In Italy, as just about everyone knows by now, governments come and go in a matter of months. These days, however, even that pace is frequently faster than the Italian mails. Take E. Paul Getty II's severed ear: when his kidnapers mailed it from Naples last fall, it took 20 days to arrive in Rome—and that was a brisk delivery by Italian standards. Some airmail Christmas cards from New York arrived at Easter time, and letters wending their way from one Italian city to another sometimes take a leisurely six months.

Italian authorities,...

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